Journal of Medical Bacteriology 2016. 5(5-6):21-28.

Multiplex PCR Study of Plasmid-Mediated AmpC Beta-Lactamase Genes in Clinical Isolates of Escherichia coli
Maryam Dehghani, AZ Haddadi, Mahmoud Shavandi


Background:   AmpC β-lactamases are important cephalosporinases chromosomally encoded in many of Enterobacteriaceae and a few other organisms where they mediate resistance to cephalothin, cefazolin, cefoxitin and penicillins. The six different families of plasmid-mediated AmpC β-lactamases have been described, but no phenotypic test can discriminate among them. AmpC multiplex PCR has been successfully used to discriminate plasmid-mediated ampC specific families in organisms such as Klebsiella pneumonia and Escherichia coli. The aim of this study was to indicate the prevalence of AmpC β-lactamase genes by specifically designed primers through PCR test. 

Methods:   243 total clinical urine samples were collected, and 227 isolates were identified as Escherichia coli based on standard biochemical tests. Subsequently, the isolates were screened by disc diffusion and combined disc test for β-lactamase production. Resistant isolates were evaluated by PCR for ampC family determination.

Results:  Antibiotic resistance pattern were observed as follows: cefepime (30%), ceftazidime (36%), ceftriaxone (42%), cefotaxime (47%). The ratio of isolates was detected as ESBLs and AmpC producers were 34% and 5.2%, respectively. PCR performed on 12 selected isolates via phenotypic tests and the results revealed that among 12 isolates, 11 contained blaCMY-42


Conclusion:  Unfortunately, antibiotic resistance has become an increasingly critical problem in many countries like Iran and occurrence of isolates co-expressing AmpC-β-lactamases and ESBLs can create serious problems in the future. As antibiotic options in the treatment of AmpC β-lactamases and ESBLs producing organisms are extremely limited, molecular screening by laboratories is suggested to reduce the risk of therapeutic defeat.


Antibiotic Resistance; AmpC β-lactamases; ESBLs

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